Riverside Sports Pub in Bath is one of those rare places that is able to do both a daytime and an evening scene well.

At the bottom of the “Historic Bath” exit on Route 1 North (you’ll have to drive along the overpass, which makes you feel like you’re drag racing but refrain from actual drag racing, so as not to get arrested), it’s located in a huge tan building at the only intersection along the Leeman Highway.

Maneuvering my Jeep through the population of BIW Yardbird trucks and an interesting assortment of motorcycles, I wondered what exactly I was entering into.

Riverside Sports Pub thrives on being a place that has something for everyone. The space is broken up into four spaces: a dance floor and wall mirror directly on your left as you first walk in; a pub and restaurant-type area with high-top tables and an assortment of hardwood booths; a game room with a pool table, pinball machine, a deer hunting game (apparently quite popular and addicting), a lottery scratch ticket machine and other fun stuff; and the bar, complete with a stuffed boar’s head mounted on the center post and a sign declaring him “Boss Hog.”

The atmosphere in the afternoon is completely laid-back, with the bartender gently teasing the regulars and greeting the newcomers with a friendly smile. She has been working at the pub since it opened 10 years ago, and you can tell that the folks are sort of like a second family. They all cheer and greet each other when someone walks in, and the conversation around the bar is constant.

Sitting at a high-top table with my Sam Adams draft ($4.25 during happy hour), I was able to watch everything from SportsCenter and daytime talk shows to a drama on TNT on 10 flat screens positioned along the right wall. There are always specials and groups of people cheering and watching a game, no matter what sport it is.

I didn’t stay for the Thursday night (Ladies Night) festivities, but I have been to Riverside before to bust a move on the dance floor. Let’s just say I have a couple of single friends in Bath that like the men in uniform who swing by on the weekends.

With its black-and-white checkered floor and club-style DJ, it’s actually a pretty fun place to go for a night out.

But the place is not all about the thumping bass and dancing fools, and there were always quite a few folks playing pool or sitting at the bar and catching up. It was at Riverside that I experienced my first Allens Coffee Brandy drink ($3.75) outside of a living room house party.

God help me, I actually kind of liked it. 

Elisa Doucette is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.


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